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Best Letter Ever?

This is maybe the best letter ever, and I wish I could have replied positively.  Sadly, although for admittedly good reasons, farm animals aren’t permitted on properties smaller than two acres, so, like a Grinch, I was forced to say no.  🙁

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“Rebound New Rochelle” Launches

Small businesses and micro-enterprises are invited to apply for a “Rebound New Rochelle” grant through the City’s new online portal, with funds available for rent, staffing, working capital or other critical needs. Additionally, business guidance to help manage those funds efficiently will be available through the RXR Realty Volunteer Portal and through The Acceleration Project (TAP).

Rebound New Rochelle will also provide tenant based rental assistance for families who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible applicants should have household incomes, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, of less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income, have been laid off or furloughed from their job, and be unable to pay their rent as a result of the ongoing public health crisis.

Learn more on the Rebound webpage.

By providing meaningful assistance to businesses and individuals, we can accelerate our local recovery and position our entire city for success in a post-COVID environment.  The Rebound program reflects New Rochelle’s strong commitment to inclusive, equitable prosperity from which all of us can benefit.

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Which Would You Choose?

Love this piece in today’s New York Times which takes a very positive look at housing options in downtown New Rochelle, where there is “more space at the right price.”

Attracting people to live downtown — at a range of price points, including affordable housing — is a critical part of our ambitious development plan.  Customers for stores, patrons for restaurants, workers for businesses, bringing life and energy, day and night.  Glad to see New Rochelle’s appeal recognized in the paper of record.  Read it here.

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Summer Fun “Outside the Box”

Traditional New Rochelle Parks and Recreation day camps had to be cancelled this summer because of COVID-19, but with some “outside the box” thinking, our Parks and Recreation staff has developed a great option for parents and kids called “Outside the Box in our Parks”.

“Outside the Box” programs will run Monday through Friday for six weeks, from July 13 to August 21 on a rotating basis at ten parks throughout New Rochelle. All activities will observe safe physical distancing for 1-2 hour time blocks and be limited to 15-20 children per group. Program classes include fitness, STEM, gardening and more, as well as special events like Truck Day and Scavenger Hunt.  There’s more in this brochure.

Registration is already underway. Call the Parks & Recreation Department at 914-654-2088 or visit www.newrochelleny.com/outsidethebox for more information or questions.

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Phase III Re-Opening Begins Today

Our region’s recovery from COVID continues, as New Rochelle enters Phase III of the re-opening process today.  Restaurants are now allowed to offer indoor dining (at 50% capacity), and personal care businesses are also permitted to open.  More detail at forward.ny.gov.

While our progress is encouraging, responsible behavior remains a must: please continue to wear a mask in public, practice physical distancing, and wash hands frequently.  Having come so far, let’s not slide back.

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Juneteenth Observance at City Hall

For the first time, New Rochelle officially observed Juneteenth today with a flag raising at City Hall.

For many people, Juneteenth has long been a significant annual celebration marking the end of slavery.  And for many others, the occasion has passed year after year with little or no awareness.

Even in a community like ours — that prides itself on diversity and inclusion and that has a remarkable heritage of black leadership — there are enormous gaps in experience and perspective that make it more difficult to stand in each other’s shoes and fully appreciate the challenges that shape our lives.  But perhaps that is beginning to change.

As our nation focuses intently on issues of racial equality, I hope that this morning’s flag-raising can serve not only to look back on an event of great historical significance, but, even more, as a symbol of our forward-looking commitment to a just and inclusive society.

Happy Juneteenth.

UPDATE:  Here’s video of this morning’s ceremony:

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New Ro Eats

As New Rochelle’s recovery continues, we are working with local restaurants to expand outdoor dining options and re-imagine public spaces for everyone’s enjoyment (and safety.)  Here’s one great example: starting this Sunday, the City is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and the BID to launch a two-week experiment on Division Street, closing the road to traffic and allowing multiple restaurants to establish socially-distanced seating.  Al fresco dining will be available from 1:00pm to 9:00pm on Sunday, and then from noon to 9:00pm through July 5th.  While the test is running, we can evaluate public use of the space, gauge impacts on traffic and business, and learn lessons that might apply to other restaurant rows.  This press release has more information.

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Improving Construction Safety

This afternoon, the City Council is poised to approve new regulations that require all significant building projects to have a “site safety superintendent” to ensure compliance with construction safety standards.  Here’s the full legislation, with lots more detail.  As New Rochelle’s ambitious development efforts proceed, we want to be sure that workers in our city are protected.

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